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December 23, 2012

Rulers, not democracy, failed to deliver: Nawaz

December 23, 2012

LAHORE: PML-N president Nawaz Sharif has said that President Asif Ali Zardari should not cross the limits as enshrined in the Constitution for the president of the state.
He said that it was a wrong notion that democracy was facing failure rather it was the rulers who had failed to deliver. He said that some forces might be making attempts to subvert the poll process, but his party would not allow a postponement of the elections.
The PML-N chief also warned President Asif Zardari to stay within his constitutional ambit. He advised him to play his constitutional role, otherwise he would not only make himself but also the elections controversial.
Addressing a seminar, held in connection with 40th death anniversary of Khawaja Mohammad Rafique, former Muslim Leaguer and father of PML-N MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday, Nawaz said solution to country’s problems only lay in democracy and the Continuation of the political process.
The seminar, organised by Khawaja Rafique Shaheed Foundation, was also addressed by former chief minister Balochistan Akhtar Mengal, who joined the event through telephone from Dubai, former Sindh CM Syed Ghous Ali Shah, MNA Khwaja Asif, former president Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir, Jamaat-e-Islami General Secretary Liaquat Baloch, senior journalist Hamid Mir and others.
Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Samia Raheel Qazi, MNAs Pervaiz Malik, Naseer Bhutta were also present on the occasion.
The former prime minister assured the party workers as well as masses that neither elections would be delayed nor sabotaged by anyone as the PML-N would resist any such move tooth and nail. Nawaz said at present the country had an independent Election Commission and his party had complete trust in it. He said according to the Constitution, within three days of completion of the assemblies’ term, a new caretaker set up would come into existence under which polls would be held.
Nawaz said sanctity of ballot need to be

ensured as only through this way could the country be steered out of crises.
The former PM, highlighting the importance of politics in a federation, stated that our country was achieved through political struggle, not by invading the house of any viceroy. He said the creation of Pakistan was result of a political struggle by Quaid-i-Azam and he proved himself to be a sagacious and farsighted politician.
He also stated that it was unfortunate that half of Quaid’s Pakistan was lost in 1971 just because of two dictatorships in which the public will was not respected by individuals.
“We should never forget the incident of December 16, 1971,” said Nawaz, adding, only the people possessed the right to elect or reject any government.
The PML-N president said it was not difficult for him to sign an agreement with the government and return home. But instead of signing a deal, he opted for political struggle. He said he returned to the country on Sept 10, 2007 but was sent back just because he was not ready to bow before any dictator. He said during the exile days, Musharraf conveyed his wish for a meeting with him (Nawaz). However, Nawaz said he plainly rejected all offers and even stated he was ready to quit politics forever but not ready to meet a person who subverted the Constitution.
Nawaz said when he returned to the country, Shahbaz Sharif’s and his nomination papers were rejected just because they had not signed any (National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), but despite that, they adopted the political course. He said at the time of elections, no body knew that who would be the candidate for the slot of PM or CM from our party but we became part of political process.
He also said that on some 20 seats, PML-N candidates lost with very narrow margins but despite that, by the grace of God, his party formed the government in Punjab and emerged as a strong opposition in the National Assembly.
Nawaz said for five years, PML-N played a key role in protecting the democratic system and bore many things with patience.
The PML-N president also lauded the role of Khwaja Mohammad Rafique Shaheed for devoting his life for a purpose, which was not related his personal interest, but the interest of state. He said in every era, there have been people who had played a remarkable role for protecting democracy and he also admired.
Akhtar Mengal told the audience by telephone that Balochistan might not be as close to the hearts of the people here as Kashmir, but it also was not as far as Bosnia and Palestine. He said the dictator who turned Balochistan into ‘Qabarastan” (graveyard) was given guard of honour and the leaders and allies associated with the present government were equally responsible for all the sufferings of Balochistan now.
Hamid Mir, Geo News anchorperson and senior journalist, said on the occasion that for the last 16 years, he had been regularly attending events in connection with Khwaja Rafique Shaheed’s death anniversary.

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